Michael, Elvis and Howard
Hug Blog was going to draw a comparison between Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley. But Dan
beat me to it and says it better than I ever could. ...
Hub Blog's delayed-reaction Michael-Elvis comparison came to me while listening to radio reports of Jackson's death. One announcer asked a guest whether Michael's weird late-life antics would overshadow his earlier musical accomplishments. The guest never gave a straight answer, and I thought, "Ah, c'mon. Just say it. He's going to be remembered for both." ... Of course there are two types of late-life-reclusive-celebrity-nut categories: the Howard Hughes variety and the Elvis Presley variety. Howard had some impressive accomplishments before losing it. But they weren't great accomplishments. He's remembered almost exclusively as an eccentric nut. The same can't be said about Presley -- or Jackson. They produced music that gave millions of people genuine joy. No one can take that away from them. But it's undeniable their lives ended in tragic wrecks. Jackson even married into the Presley family, drawing the eerie comparisons tighter.
BTW: Rolling Stone
ranks Michael Jackson 35th on its list of rock 'immortals.' I don't know. He deserves to be higher. Probably in the top 25. At least put him above Prince, for heaven's sake.Update
-- Hub Blog has gotten the first angry email -- from an Elvis fan complaining there was a big difference between the Elvis and Michael wrecks. He's right. Elvis's wreck ultimately just harmed himself. Michael's wreck was truly sordid. But their lives both ended in wrecks -- and you can't separate their achievements from those sad endings. That's all I was driving at.Update II
-- From Armchair Gen. Savin Hill:
I heard there was big news yesterday about something. No doubt I have solved the riddle - someone came up with the world's greatest invention.
Finally, some good news.Update III
-- Another reader told me he'd rank Michael Jackson in the top 10. I'm not so sure. But look
who's currently ranked above Jackson. The Ramones, Nirvana, Prince, the Clash. I like them all. But Jackson was clearly bigger than them.